Festival of (Red) Lights: Sens Edge Caps 6-4


Photo credit: Patrick McDermott

Blame Rachel Cohen for this.

Blame Rachel Cohen for this.

[Note: This recap is Chanukah-themed tonight. Why? Because there’s literally no one on the Internet right now.]

Last week, there was only one way to describe the play of the Washington Capitals: shameful. After winning three straight, the Capitals allowed seven unanswered goals at Verizon Center, before showing some life late against Montreal. Saturday’s game, though, was markedly different. The Capitals still lost, but they put 50 shots on goal, Washington’s highest total since 2010. On the first night of Chanukah, the Caps looked to continue that output against the lowly Ottawa Senators. They did — at first.

It started with a sublime play by yelling person-cum-Jewish pun Michael Latta, who skated into the offensive zone, got tripped, and then pole vaulted over a Sens defender. The loose puck went to Eric Fehr, who unleashed a lovely wrist shot to put the Caps on the board. Ottawa tied it up less than a minute and a half  later, however, when Bobby Ryan tipped one past Braden Holtby on the man-advantage. However, Marcus Johansson whacked in a loose puck in front on the power play just 38 seconds after the Sens tally, giving the Caps a 2-1 lead. BUT WAIT! A mere 47 seconds later, Brooks Laich backhanded home a loose puck in front. Four goals in under five minutes. Whew!

The second period was all Sens. Chris Philips put them within one with a blast on the power play, before Colin Greening tied the game at three.

In the final frame Mika Zibanejad added another PP tally. Ugh. The game looked hopeless until John Carlson tied it late. Prepare to cry, though, because just over a minute later Zach Smith beat Mike Green and Nate Schmidt to win the ballgame. Ryan added an empty netter. Sad face. Vodka. Sens edge Caps 6-4

  • For the first time since 1918, the Festival of Lights and Thanksgiving will coincide. That’s kinda neat I guess.
  • How about that rain yesterday? That was a lot of rain. I was outside. I got very wet. Rain is not as fun as snow.
  • Anyway, about the game. In the first period, there were four goals and 34 total penalty minutes. Do you know how hard it is to tweet all that and watch the game? Oh well.
  • The penalty-crazed action continued in the second with 20 more PIMs. Meanwhile the Caps had just three shots on goal in the frame. Nineteen for the Sens.
  • Seriously, the period was awful. Look at the Extra Skater chart.


  • Unlike Bruce Boudreau and Adam Oates, I will always love Eric Fehr. Finally free of the press box, Fehrsie scored his first goal since October 10
  • Brooks Laich did his best to justify Oates’ to play him over Martin Erat this year. Though Brooksie’s possession numbers are awful, he scored fourth goal of the year alone in front of Craig Anderson.
  • Apparently Tyson Strachan is a thing. He did his best to remind us he exists but fighting Chris Neil after Neil laid a big hit on Nate Schmidt. The d-man got 17 minutes of penalty minutes for his unnecessary troubles.
  • Washington’s penalty kill used to be the league’s top unit. Well, coming into tonight they had fallen to eighth overall. It’ll take a noise dive tomorrow. The Sens scored on three of their six power plays. Man.
  • How about that ending, eh?
  • Shoutout to my boy Kelsie McCrae, who turned the big One-Eight today. She’s celebrating in style by not giving a crap about this stupid recap.
Menorah of the Night

Menorah of the Night

Oy vey. You know how the Capitals always start games like crap before nearly coming back in the end? Well, the Sens did that tonight. What an epic collapse that second period was. The PK sucked too. The last couple minutes were too stressful to articulate. Four losses in a row.

Anyway, you can stop reading now. The holiday season starts now. Happy Chanukah to our Chosen Readers and Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. I’ll be back with you when the Caps head to Long Island for a Saturday showdown. Eat well, y’all.

  • William

    Tonights loss featuring penalties!


  • Andrew Walker

    I sure did love him during the playoffs last year, but I’m thinking Green has got to go. Maybe he can sleep in Orlov’s room in Hershey.

  • meowmix

    So we are ignoring Green’s piss poor play?

  • Chris Cerullo

    Change is needed. And bigger than just Dima getting a game. There is absolutely no skill in our bottom 9 forwards and our defense is atrocious.

  • Owen Johnson

    Wasn’t our PK ranked 1st in the league at one point? They’ve been downright awful lately.

    Also #freedima #freeerat

  • MuzzMuzzington

    I’m not. We looked pretty decent without him in the line up. Annnnd he’s back. LOSING STREAK!

  • Bob

    We tied it late but the amount of quit we showed after the 1st was so embarrassing. Its getting really hard to watch this team from the way they play, the lack of heart they show, and the way gmgm and oates manage the team. The defense is so soft they just let guys skate right down the ice and no one gets in their face. real elite effort by holtby tonight too. frustration level = infinity

  • Mark

    I had so much good to say about this game after one period. And then…

  • William

    We lost the game because of taking too many penalties. I wouldn’t worry about that.

  • Andrew Walker

    I couldn’t have said it better. I honestly can’t fathom the management of this team sometimes.

  • Josh

    The last week has to amount to a fireable offense for GMGM. 2 players publicly demand a trade + a 4 game losing streak (including this and the Pitt debacle) has to equal a change at the top.

  • Chris Cerullo

    If you think that’s the only reason we’ve lost this game then you’re insane. Not to mention we are on a four game skid. The amount of “I don’t give a shit” on the ice tonight was ridiculous. Change is needed.

  • Pat Magee

    Oates should be arrested for his horrible roster management, and GMGM should be fired for hiring Oates. A promising prospect and a great possession forward both want traded because of this joke behind the bench. Yeah, he made Ovi awesome again, but at the expense of the team. Dupid Stickhead.

  • Aandy

    This game was the nail in the coffin for this team. They just dont have what it takes and even they know it. No coincidence that everyone is asking to leave

  • Mark

    A frustrating game to watch for sure. All the penalties caused next to zero flow in the game, so it really wasn’t a great game regardless of the play. To top that off it looked like the Caps assumed they had this one in the bag after one period. The FF chart is terrible.

  • Andrew Walker

    Good luck with that one. Pretty sure he has a pact with at least one or two dark gods. Seriously, if I had a cookie for every comment like this I’d read where jack squat happened afterwards, I’d be fat enough to roll over there and crush his house.

  • Pat Magee


  • JessHughes

    Ugh! Not sure what was worse about tonight’s loss: the Caps’ play (did they think tonight’s game was a mere 20 minutes) or having to listen to unfortunately true comments about the Caps’ D from my Chicago brother-in-law, a diehard Blackhawks’s fan. At least there’s comfort eating tomorrow. Go Caps!

  • MuzzMuzzington

    Is there a team that is worse with the goalie pulled than the Caps?

    I swear I see the Hawks pull a goalie and I can’t help but wonder why they use a goalie because they are so damn dangerous making good, simple, tough nosed plays. Meanwhile the Capitals will pass to their hearts content, turn it over, and get no shots.

  • Andrew Walker

    I’ve never been happier to be in a weak division.

  • William

    Comfort eating fixes everything!

  • Bob

    careful, hating on green hurts a lot of feelings around here. But facts are facts he is terrible and we are going to keep him instead of orlov

  • William

    They scored 3 goals on the power play and we had 12 penalties. 12!

  • Andrew Walker

    Did you just warn yourself?

  • djlotus

    If only we had an offensive minded defense-man who could play on the blue line with good skating ability, checking ability, and passing ability……………who didn’t want to be traded.


  • dylan wheatley

    yeah, i don’t know about these so called “washington capitals”

  • Bob

    sacrificing myself and taking on all incoming hate about not liking green

  • JenniferH

    Normally I wouldn’t blame a loss on penalties, but I am with this game. We did so great in the 1st period and then we kept taking penalty after penalty and on top of that it was whistle after whistle that we simply could not get into any kind of flow. Yes, our PK is sucking now, yes our PP has been decimated now which doesn’t help, and, yes, the stupid penalties (in some cases) were our fault. But the fact that we had to deal with so many penalties and thus constantly interrupting our game just screwed us over. Which, yes, ultimately boils down to us. But, the refs didn’t help.

    And, our D beyond Alzner and Carlson never helps. *sigh* We need to get better D. We just need to get better D. We get some experienced, strong D and that seriously could be the switch that turns things around. UGH!

    As always, though, thanks RMNB for giving me someplace to go after a dismal game and at least having a laugh. (Michael Latkes anyone?)

  • Dave

    Too Many Men on the Ice is such a dumb penalty, I’m surprised the Redskins haven’t been called for it yet.

  • Chris Cerullo

    Take a look around this comment section. No one else shares your POV. If you honestly believe this team is fine, give me whatever you’re drinking.

  • Mark

    Especially taking it while Ovi is rushing up the ice. Changing shouldn’t be a problem in that scenario.

  • William

    I’m not sure I understand your anger. We took a ton of penalties and they scored 3 of their goals on them.
    People are angry because we didn’t play well.

  • Sasha Liles

    We’ve had millions of coaching changes. Fire upper management.

  • Bob

    I also find it really annoying seeing other teams record 3 shots on goal in a span of a minute or 2 and it takes us an entire period

  • Georgoroth

    Bruuuhhahahahaaa. Yesssss, yesssss! My nether carapace stridulates in pleasure at your hatred. Very soon now the blood moon shall rise over Washington and the Dark Lord Georgoroth shall slither completely into your realm.

  • Shaun Phillips

    But don’t get too comfy because Orlov will be back in a few hours. #YOYODIMA

  • Owen Johnson

    Oh wait you put that on one of you bullet points.

  • Georgoroth

    Fire will be the least of your worries as soon as Georgoroth bursts forth from his larval lair beneath the Potomac and feasts upon the suffering of the loyal.

  • Owen Johnson

    I dunno. Because when I watch the Redskins I’m convinced they have like 8 guys on the field.

  • H70

    Pathetic! Embarrassing! Not sure what else to say…

  • H70

    This year’s Green is definitely not last year’s Green.

  • Roy Schue

    So Green was the only capital to suck wind tonight?? I didn’t think so

  • Roy Schue

    Nail in the coffin…really?? You are some fair weather fan aren’t you. We have 2/3 of a season to play yet. plenty of time to make a trade or two and turn things around

  • Brackaphobia

    Geez our defense is bad. Mike Green is soft, and the fact that he is paired with Schmidt who is constantly out of position makes things even worse.

    If Dima’s agent wants a trade then maybe we can ship out him and Erat for a defenseman that can actually play defense.

  • jeff moynihan

    Fact of the matter is that as long as GMGM is in Washington there will not be a stanley cup coming to DC. It truly is a shame because OV is a very special talent but his supporting cast is downright poor. Laich and Brouwer just are not top six players IMO. The defense other than Carlzner is..well..crap. I would have Oleksy and Orlov playing over Schmidt and Strachan but maybe thats not why I am a GM.

    I’m starting to think that Leonsis is content with not winning as long as he is bringing in $$$ which the caps have been doing. Maybe that’s why GMGM hasn’t gone yet?

    Green is awful..I always thought he was a defensive liability but it really shows when he is not making up for it by producing offensively. (End Rant)

  • johnnymorte

    Real classy treating a talented guy coming over from a different country in pursuit of a dream like a yo-yo. How long did you think it was going to continue before it blew up in your face? I was really looking forward to seeing this kid play in a Washington Capitals jersey, you just took that away from me you f@#%face.

  • Freedoooom

    4 Senators in front of Brooks Laich. His foot is up, but he glided, and Phillips scored to make it 3-2. No one can justify his play tonight, no the goal doesn’t justify it one bit, he was awful. Erat showed he cared, Laich showed he has a cushy job where he can do no wrong.

    The PK is awful, what excuse could he possibly have for not scratching Laich?


  • Freedoooom

    Green was fine.

  • GuestZ

    Zingggggg. nice one.

    I just save myself by not watching them suck…

  • That’s sarcasm right?

  • Brooks Laich was Dick-Trickling-it back into the play http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WvCyeYrCNvw

  • RC

    Mike Green is a bad defenseman who needs to be traded. Despite his goal last night against the Sens, Johansson remains a timid shooter who’d be better off as a center on the 2nd or 3rd line. (How about Ovi-Backy-Grabo on the 1st line?) Our defense, puck possession and passing are massive liabilities. This team will not win the cup until it relearns the fundamentals of the game with a slew of new personnel on and off the ice. Holtby needs to start staying awake in every game. He missed a couple of easy shots on goal last night. When he’s sloppy, the team struggles. When he and Ovi are off, the team is toast.

  • Freedoooom

    His mistake was trusting Holtby.

  • prut

    Laich sporting an illegal undershirt, I think I saw Green wearing gray as well. MOAR penalties!

  • Jack Conness

    The Caps will not win anything with this team; with this roster, coaching, and management. They have to make some MAJOR changes if we hope to see a Stanley Cup in Washington. I am hoping some moves will be made.

    Happy Thanksgiving to all!